In a world where tall is better and ultra-skinny is essential, but like it or not there’s always an exception to every rule, and here is one, Liris Crosse! She is a 32 year old plus size model tagged the Naomi Campbell of plus. Her story strikes as that of humble beginnings and relentlessness.
She shares her journey to the top with FEMAIL, how she proved her doubters wrong and how she’s hoping to take the UK by storm. ‘I can recall studying all the major fashion magazines as a little girl so I could see Tyra Banks and my model idol, Naomi Campbell. I watched fashion TV for all the runway shows and obsessed over Naomi Campbell’s runway walk. I still idolise her poise, body and skin to this day and I practiced in my mother’s heels back and forth in the kitchen. I’m honored that the plus fashion world calls me the “Naomi of Plus” because she’s taught me from afar unknowingly.’
A journey to success is unforgettable because it wasn’t easy attaining heights and been compared to by industry bigwigs.
When she was starting out, despite being a healthy size 10 (US 6), Liris received rejection after rejection due to her voluptuous shape, but now she stars in regular fashion shoots.
In her junior year of high school, she heard about a casting call in her area for a convention called Model Search America and immediately signed up.
She was lucky enough to get callbacks from Zoli Models, Elite Models NY, Michelle Pommier and Seventeen Magazine – but there was a catch.
‘They all loved me but wanted me to lose weight,’ she said. Despite being a healthy size 10 (US 6), Liris received rejection after rejection due to her voluptuous shape.
And even though she chose an east coast giant, Wilhelmina Models, as her mother agency, casting reps still requested that she first lose weight and then come back in six months.
Liris has also starred in top videos with Jennifer Lopez, Jay Z and Puff Daddy
Instead of giving into their demands or giving up on what she believed was her calling, Liris, who is 5ft 11in, and now size 18 (US 14), took matters into her own hands and created the vision for them.
She became her own agent and utilised the urban market to achieve her dreams with the help of her agency.
Liris began to spread like wildfire. Essence, Honey, XXL, The Source and Black Elegance magazines were the first to believe in her vision. With these successes, Glamour, Seventeen and Girl soon caught onto her refreshing image and began requesting Liris for their glossy pages.
Liris says she wants to change the industry by inspiring women to follow their dreams, helping to represent a different body type other than straight size in mainstream fashion
And now she’s starting to break the UK. Liris appeared in a recent campaign for Sir Philip Green’s plus-size fashion retailer, Evans, who fell in love with her when she took her runway reign to British Plus Size Fashion Weekend 2014. She has also starred in the Goddess Lingerie line through the Eveden brand.
‘I would love to work more in the UK with Evans, Anna Scholz, Yours Clothing, Panache, Elomi, ASOS, Simple Be, Dorothy Perkins, Carma Koma to name a few,’ she said.
‘I want to continue to change the industry by inspiring women to follow their dreams, helping to represent a different body type other than straight size in mainstream fashion like I have done through my work and to also represent for the black plus woman who feels she doesn’t see herself in mainstream fashion and entertainment. I also want to get back more into my acting career because I truly believe a plus woman can be a sexy lead on a TV series… Hey Hollywood, call me!’ Liris has starred on the glossy covers of plus-size magazines in her time
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